The Year That Was- 2015

  Oh boy now that Christmas is well and truly over, the countdown is on to ring in 2016. This reflection post is primarily for me to read back at in the future, but I hope you find it somewhat interesting to read. ☺
I can honestly and confidently say that 2015 is one of the best years, if not the best year of my life thus far. Now, that's a bold statement but I really do mean it. I feel that this year I am the happiest I have ever been, I have grown a lot as a person, and I have achieved my goals that I have set in the beginning of the year. With that said, it wasn't always smooth sailing. I had my bad days (who doesn't?), and I also had to overcome some difficult challenges. Hey, that's life and I have learnt a lot of lessons. 
I'm not going to delve into the bad things that happened, cause that's unnecessary. I thought I'd share a few things that stood out the most for me this year. Here goes...
Moving out of home

I moved out of home for the first time in the beginning of this year. Previously I was commuting approximately two hours to get to Uni.. it was not a fun time. I wasn't getting many opportunities where I was living and I decided enough is enough, it was time for me to leave the nest. I now live in the beautiful city of Melbourne and I love it. 
I love the hustle and bustle of the city. I love there's always something going on and things to see. I live super close to Uni which is pretty handy. Of course, I have to learn to do a lot of things on my own and learn to budget. Yup, I'm an adult now but it's not too bad.☺
Pursuing my true passion

I have always said that I wanted to become a fashion designer. That isn't the case anymore. I come to realised that I cannot become a fashion designer because a) I dislike pattern making very much, b) I dislike sewing. I like designing and illustrating but I feel that I can offer much more. Long story short, I am now pursuing a career in fashion PR. I like that it's a mixture of both business and creativity. PR is a growing industry with a fast paced environment. It’s not your typical 9 to 5 office job, it’s different, it’s challenging, it's hard work, and I'm all about it. It allows the imagination, creativity and opportunities no other course does. I was worried that this might not be the right path for me because people tend to associate PR with extroverts. That's not true, introverts can be a PR pro. I learn that introverts like myself belong in PR and can succeed in the PR world too. I believe in myself and this is something I want to pursue. I can and I will!

New York

Getting to go to NYC is probably my highlight for this year. I bought myself a ticket to New York for my 21st birthday. Making this dream come true myself is something I'm very proud of, and this whole trip is a memory that I'll have with me forever. I also went to LA for a few days but NY definitely stolen my heart. I hope to go back again in the near future!

Work experience at fashion shows

With moving into the city, comes a lot of opportunities. One of my goals this year is to step out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Happy to say that I have achieved this goal. "Everything you wanted is on the other side of fear" is a quote that I live by this year. I was scared of getting rejected, not being good enough, but I didn't let fear get the better of me. 
I have volunteered for a few different fashion shows this year, with MSFW being the top/ best gig I ever worked at. Volunteering is fun, especially for something that you're passionate about. Through this whole experience of volunteering at fashion shows, I have met some incredible like-minded people who are now great friends of mine. Hip-hip hooray! Take that, fear!

Internships

Again, I didn't let fear win. I knew with what I want to pursue, I need to have a lot of experience and skills. I managed to earn two internships this year, which I'm so proud of. I'm still currently completing one of the internships. Both internships were different but both taught me so much. I am really enjoying the internship I am currently doing. It's a well-reputed company with high profile clients. Every week, I get to do something different which is exciting. The office is really cool, such a dynamic environment with heaps of media professionals so I'm quite lucky to have gotten the opportunity to intern there. I'm going to continue to do internships, and who knows, hopefully, I will land myself a job through one of them. Fingers crossed!!


Fitness

This is an area that needs constant improvement and work. I only joined the gym about six months ago and it's been an on and off relationship with it. I love how it makes me feel afterwards and I do enjoy going to the group fitness classes. I am definitely going to make an effort to regularly go to the gym in the new year. I'm going to stop making excuses because nothing negative will come out of going to the gym and exercising, only the positives.  
 
Exploring  
Something I want to do more of in the new year is to explore more. Not necessary going to another country, cause there's still so much to see in Australia- Victoria even. I went on a road trip a month ago and it was such a blast. I realised there's so much to see and so much the world has to offer. I look forward to going on more adventures and finding little gems of life.
  That's a wrap for 2015! What a big year it has been and I am beyond stoked about the next 365 days. 
 
  
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 
 
  What's one of your top memories for 2015? If you have written a reflection post, link me below. I'd love to read! ☺
 ♥
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Marie Claire The Parcel | Summer Edit

Marie Claire The Parcel
Another season, another The Parcel. I haven't been disappointed with any of the parcels I have received from Marie Claire thus far, and the love affair continues. Hands down, this season's parcel is the best one yet! I was grinning when I was looking through the parcel and seeing all the amazing goodies that were included in the box. What a great early Christmas gift.

What makes this season's parcel so good? Oh, let me tell you...
LONVITALITE Face Mask
LONVITALITE Face Mask 
Funnily enough, as I'm typing this up I have the collagen firming moisturizing face mask on. It's quite a hot day today, so I put the mask in the fridge for a couple of hours. It feels super nice and refreshing. I have used Lonvitalite face masks before and I quite like their products. Although the face masks don't fit my face nicely, I do find that the masks really does wonders to my skin. 
MAYBELLINE The Colossal Pumped Up Volum' Express Mascara
MAYBELLINE The Colossal Pumped Up Volum' Express Mascara 

I'm a big fan of Maybelline mascaras, so I have high hopes for this mascara. I recently got a lash lift on my lashes (btw best thing ever). A good mascara makes my lashes look bigger and longer. I can't wait to try this mascara out!

SWISSE Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner
SWISSE Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner

The only Swisse product I have used/ still using is their fish oil, Got to have that omega 3, you know. I'm quite intrigued to try this mist toner out. This is perfect for those hot summer days. I love the small sample size which I can pop into my bag, so I can refresh my skin throughout the day.

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner 

I have heard a few Youtubers mentioned OGX and it seem like it is a good brand. Argan oil is great for the hair. I'm looking forward to trying out this duo.

MAYBELLINE Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Fuchsia Flourish
MAYBELLINE Color Elixir by Color Sensational in Fuchsia Flourish
Again, a product that I have heard several beauty enthusiasts raved about when Color Elixir first came out. I have never really been a liquid lipstick kind of girl, but I'm keen to try this. Although, this hot fuschia pink shade is not a colour I'd usually wear. Eh, sometimes is good to get out my own comfort zone and try something new. ☺
TRILOGY Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm
TRILOGY Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

Ooh, I think this is a very neat product and I'm excited to try it out. I've never tried a cleansing balm before. This product is made from a blend of pure plant oils such as rosehip, coconut, and sunflower oils. I think my face would love that goodness. Oh yes, it would. 
PAULA'S CHOICE Vitamin C Spot Treatment
PAULA'S CHOICE Vitamin C Spot Treatment 
I haven't heard about this brand before. It claims to be "ideal for spot-treating wrinkles, stubborn brown spots, and post-acne discolorations." I do have hyper-pigmentations on my face, so I'm interested to see if this product works. 
 
MICHAEL KORS Gold Collection
MICHAEL KORS Gold Collection

Oh la la, a luxury gem. This MK perfume smells so good! Don't even know how to really describe the scent. Three words: sexy, elegant, classy.

ELIZABETH AEDEN Superstart Skin Renewal Booster
ELIZABETH ARDEN Superstart Skin Renewal Booster

"Clinically proven to restore the appearance of the skin's surface layer for supple, smooth, more radiant looking skin." Um, yes please!

SALLY HANSEN Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda
SALLY HANSEN Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda
I love Sally Hansen's nail polishes. I think they're great quality and offers a range of beautiful colours. I'm a big fan of their OMGel range. So happy to have gotten this pretty pastel blue shade, as I don't have it in my collection yet. Happy days!

ZOEVA 228 Luxe Crease Eye Brush
ZOEVA 228 Luxe Crease Eye Brush
Last but certainly not least, I may or may not have squealed when I saw this was included. I have heard nothing but amazing things about ZOEVA brushes. This brush feels so incredibly soft. I have been wanting to get my hands on the ZOEVA rose gold set for so long. Should I do it? I think a cheeky purchase is in order!
As you can see, amazing goodies in this season's parcel. So happy with each and every item in this box!

Have you used any of those products mentioned before?
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Blogger Swap with Diaries of a Bride 2015

A couple months back, I took part in a Halloween Swap that was organised by the lovely ladies over at Bloggers United AU. Yep, you read that right- "Halloween". We are now getting in the Christmas spirit...better late than never right?! I still wanted to share the goodies that I received from my partner, Gabby from Diaries of a Bride
Before getting paired up with a buddy, we had to fill out a little questionnaire with our likes and dislikes. With those little hints, Gabby did extremely well and I'm so happy I got paired up with her! 
As you can probably guess, Gabby is a bride-to-be. She's from Western Australia and she works in a field which I'm also interested in. Gabby works at a company which I'm familiar with and I'm currently interning for the company's sub-branch. Because of that, Gabby have been extremely nice and answered the questions that I may have and giving me advice. If you're reading this Gabs, thank you a million! 
Okay, here are the goodies that Gabby gifted me:
Panda notenook
Kikki.K pen
Mouse pad

Oh yes, I do love my stationary and I love inspirational quotes too. Did I mention I love pandas as well?! All my favourite things in one picture! I adore the mousepad with one of my favourites quotes. I think I might save the notepad and use it in the new year...if I can wait, that is.

Panda sleeping mask
Pyjamas shorts

When I saw the panda sleeping mask, I died a little from happiness. How adorable is it?! It's like don't disturb me, imma panda. 
Those pyjamas shorts are super cute too! I love the colour combination and perfect for those hot summer nights.
Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish in 091
Maybelline Baby Lips Candy Wow in Peach Lollipop
Cute Gold Necklace

I love me some glitter on my nails. The glitter nail polish is so pretty!
If you know me, which Gabby does then you'd know that I love dainty things and this necklace is right up my street. Can we just talk about the packaging for a sec? Love the quote on the packaging (" she leaves a little confetti wherever she goes") and the necklace itself is so cute. The perfect piece to layer with other necklaces for that boho look!
I actually haven't seen the Maybelline Baby Lips Candy Wow version before, so I was super excited when I saw it. It smells so good, which makes me constantly re-applying it!

Honeycomb Chocolate
Oh boy oh boy! Get in my belly right now! One of my favourites chocolates is the Crunchie Chocolate Bars. This is just as equally delicious and I love the honeycomb bits!

Mad for Coconut Body Butter
Coconut Face Mask
I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of all things coconut. I have yet to use the face mask and body butter but I can't wait to smother myself with this coconut goodness!
Ahh Gabby, thank you so much for these goodies! I absolutely love everything!!
Be sure to head over to Gabby's blog and show her some love. Pssst! Gabby is currently running a giveaway. Go go go and enter!!
Have you been a part of a blog swap before?
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CURRENT FAVORITES 2015!


Hi there! Today I will be sharing with you, my current favourites things that I have been reaching for constantly. Let's just jump straight into it!
Maybelline Matte Maker Powder in Natural Beige 
I was instantly drawn to this powder because it has the word "matte" on the packaging. I get quite oily on the T-zone, so this powder definitely helps mattifies my skin. This powder applies really nicely and I love that it doesn't make my face look cakey. Even though the staying power isn't that great, I find that if you use a make-up setting spray it does prolong the wear. It gives a smooth finish and decent coverage. Not to mention, it's affordable too! 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat 

This is by far the sexiest/prettiest makeup product I own. Just look at it, will you?! The packaging is so sleek and luxurious looking. The blush itself is so beautiful that I will make love to it. Okay, too far too dramatic but you get how much I do adore this blush. It gives a fresh flush to the cheeks with a subtle glow. I think the colour is a universal shade that will look flattering on all skin tones. Yep, it is pricey but definitely worth the money. I can't rave enough about this baby. The hype is real people!

Antipodes Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream 
I love the Antipodes eye cream a lot, so I decided to give their moisturiser a try. Boy, another big tick of approval for Antipodes and this tube of goodness. Despite the thick consistency, it doesn't break me out at all. My skin absorbs it and feels moisturised after applying it. I love that this product has all natural ingredients in it. I don't know if it's just me, but this cream smells like Chai! If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with Chai so this is a bonus for me.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny

Ahhh massive thank-you to my good friend, Ashley for sending this baby to me!! I have heard pretty much every beauty guru out there talked about this bronzer and how good it is, so I was dying to try it. At last, I tried it and it definitely deserves the spotlight. It's such an amazing product at such an affordable price. I use this to contour my face and it's the right colour for my warm skin tone. Not orange, not muddy. Hip hip, hooray! 

Sunnies from Topshop

You'll probably see me sporting these sunnies this summer a lot. I think it looks really cool and unique with the clear frames. I really like the shape of them too and they suit my round shaped face. 
Nothing more to say but LOVE!

Loreal Brow Artiste Genius Kit

Brows on fleek? Oh, yes please! This is such a neat little brow kit. I love the sleek packaging. Inside, it comes with a mini tweezer and a mini angled brush and spoolie...which I never use. However, I do think it would be perfect for travelling. This kit would be perfect for beginners too as it's super easy to use to fill in the brows. The only down side is that it only has two shades, but luckily the colour is just right for my brows. It looks natural and stay in place all day. 

Veet In Shower Hair Removal Cream

Yup, the weather is heating up and it's the season to show a bit of skin and the season to shave. My friend introduced this product me. At first I was skeptical but it does really work. However dang, this stuff stinks so bad! I mean luckily you use it in the shower.

Swarovski Necklace and Tiffany & Co. Earrings 

Both of these jewellery pieces mean a lot to me as I got them for my 21st birthday and I wear them all the time, especially the earrings. When I saw the necklace, I was so happy. I love the design and I do love stars in general. I love star gazing and when I was younger, I used to make origami stars. The Tiffany & Co. earrings I did buy it myself when I was in New York. Oh my gosh, the Tiffany and Co. store there was stunning. I wish I could buy the whole store... I was deciding between a few but settled on these classic ones. I love them so much and definitely bring back all the good NY memories whenever I wear them. ☺

What's one of your current faves?
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7 Things I love About Spring


Oh yes! Spring is well and truly here and I couldn't be more excited. Spring is my favourite season and I thought I would share some of the lovely things that spring brings, so here are the 7 things I love about spring...
 

1. On- point weather (mostly)

Mostly because if you live in Melbourne, then you'd agree that the weather is quite bi-polar here. Just like yesterday, it was gloomy and raining all day then today it's all sunshine and happiness. Spring for me has the perfect weather- not too hot and not too cold. Feeling the sun on your face, you just automatically feel more positive. Hmmm.. let's see how long the perfect weather lasts before sweater weather is back in play. 


2. Blooming flowers 

I love seeing all the flowers blooming during spring time, but hayfever is a biatch. Flowers are so pretty and make me very happy indeed. I wish I can keep them alive though, but recently I came across dry flowers so that works well for me.


3. Spring fashion

As the weather gets warmer, it means less layering required. Hoorah! I love that I can wear skirts and dresses more often now. Can you tell I'm a girlie-girl like that? 
Spring time also means Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, and this year I had the privileged to work there. It was so exciting and so fun! Challenging and stressful at times, call me crazy but it was a good kind of stress and I love a bit of a challenge. 


4. Daylight saving 

Hallelujah for longer days. If you're a blogger, then you can appreciate the extra daylight too. It means we can stay out longer and have picnics and be all cute and what not. What's not to love?!

5. Spring Racing Carnival 

Oh yessss, it's spring racing season and I'm so excited. I love spring racing fashion. The big hats, unique looking fascinators, elegant dresses...it's the time to be playful and have a little fun dressing up and go bold! Unfortunately, I don't think I can make it to the races this year as I will be working. However, my internship has something to do with the Spring Racing Carnival, so I'm not missing out too much. ☺


6. Beauty of Spring

I've never really embrace vampy lips fully. I love that I can play around with bright colours. Spring screams pastel colours to me and that's right up my alley. Oh that reminds me that I need to learn about strobing. It's a huge beauty trend for this season! 

Photographer | Melissa Shaowei
7. Optimism 

That feeling of renewal is great. Since everything is sort of starting fresh, it seems like there is sort of a positive energy around. I'm not into science at all (yuck), but I think the sun affects our brain chemistry because spring time makes me want to go out there and do so many things. I just in general feel more enthusiastic and happy about the day. 

Which is your favourite season and why do you love it?

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Life Update & OOTD!


Hello! Yes, it has been quite a while... I miss you! I have been a busy bee juggling a lot on my plate, but I love being busy and constantly having things to do. Unfortunately with so much going on, I have neglected my blog and it literally makes me cringe when I haven't blogged for so long. 

With that said, my main priority is Uni. I don't want to just cruise along and get a pass for all of my subjects. All semester I have been aiming for the highest mark possible and hard work really does pay off in the end. Next week will be my last week of Uni for the year and I cannot wait!! Other than full-time Uni, I also work part-time three days a week and a month or so ago I started my very first internship. As you can imagine, it's a tough act to balance everything. 


However, I do regularly posts on my Instagram (@yourstrulyny) if you want to check out what I get up to. I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove of things and post regularly during my holidays. 

Anyhow, I want to share an OOTD with you! This dress I have featured before, but I wanted to show you again as I styled it differently this time. 



I adore this dress for its versatility. I can easily dress it up or down. I took this dress with me when I went to New York and dressed it down with a pair of vans and a back- pack. It instantly gave that sporty chic vibes. Here I have paired the dress with a pair of heels  and it makes the whole outfit look more feminine and girly. Throw on a simple cardigan, and it's good for a casual day out. Throw on a coat and I'm good to discuss business. 

Dress- Sabo Skirt
Shoes- Forever New
Cardigan- ZOVE
Coat- Runway Scout 
Sunglasses- Top Shop
Bag- Thrifted 

Photographer| Melissa Woon
What's your favourite thing about Spring/Fall?
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Little Secrets That Will Make You Stop Using Photoshop

This week's post is a goody by Sophia, who will be sharing some tip and tricks on achieving flawless skin where no filters or photoshop will be needed! However ladies, embrace those laugh lines freckles. It's those little things that makes you unique and stand out. ☺
...

With the advancement of technology, we are using it for just about every aspect of our lives. We would never guess that we’ll use it as much we do in the area of beauty. People turn to technology to make the illusion of the perfects skin on photographs.


Still, Photoshop can’t help us when we leave our homes, and show our true faces. Why wouldn’t we, than, do our best to look just as nice in the real life as we do on processed photos? By simply following some simple tips you can achieve the same effect, this time long-term.


Adequate Skincare

Before moving on to makeup, you have to take care of the first layer, and that’s your very own skin. When you provide adequate care to your skin, you can expect your investment will return.

Clean and Moisturized


First thing you should know is that the biggest no-no in this field is to leave your skin uncleaned. Whenever you are going to bed, or simply are at home, remove the layers of makeup with makeup remover, lotion and water.

The second big no-no is that your skin mustn’t be dry. So make sure you hydrate it regularly, both from the inside and outside. Use day and night moisturizers and drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Layers

It is recommendable to exfoliate once a week, or once in two weeks if you have sensitive skin. You can shop for products in cosmetic stores or make your own peels at home.

For somewhat lasting effects, turn to popular spa methods, like mild mechanical removing of the top skin layer, such as microdermabrasion. After taking all of these steps, you will have the ideal base for makeup.

No Airbrush, Just Makeup Brush

Now that you have healthy skin, you don’t need to blur images on Photoshop. All it takes is flawless foundation coverage. First step is applying the primer on previously moisturized skin and what comes next is the foundation.


Foundation

It is very important to find the right shade to match your complexion. What you should have in mind is that your complexion differs depending on the season, so it would be best to use two tones in adequate measure. Lighter should prevail during the winter and darker during the summer. It may seem as an expensive investment from this point of view, but it will prove worthwhile, especially if you opt for two foundations of different density.

Besides the complexion, you have to think about your skin type, when choosing a foundation (if you have oily skin, don’t buy oil based products). When applying the foundation, make sure you don’t skip the neck and area behind your ears.





Finishing Touches


To get rid of the unwanted shine, use powder for a mat effect. Don’t apply to much of it, though, it can accentuate the irregularities and flaws. Make sure you use the right tools for the job. Densely packed brush or careful fingers are the best for coverage.

In the end, if there are any visible flaws remained, apply the concealer, but try to minimize the discoloration. To accentuate the cheekbones, apply bronzer or blush.

If you follow these simple steps, you will never again have to use airbrush in Photoshop or special effects, because natural looking glowing skin is as special as it gets.



Author BIO:
Sophia Smith is a freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia with huge interest in beauty, makeup, fashion, photography and graphic design. Sophia is also very passionate about DIY projects. She could be described as beauty addict and life lover. She writes in mostly beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. Sophia is regular contributor at High Style Life on topics related to beauty, fashion and style.

Find her on:


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